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KATERININDEN (St. Catherines Day)

Name day of everyone named Ekaterina, Katerina, Katya.

The holiday of Saint Martyr Catherine is called Katerininden (Catherines Day) in Bulgaria. People pay homage to this saint for her abilities to cure rabbies and measles. Early in the morning the woman of the house, who must be ritually clean (i.e. not in her monthly period), kneads 5, 7, or 9 breads of wheat with ?silent? water and decorates them with the spindle. Then she covers them with molasses, treacle or honey and gives them out to neighbors.

If there are small children in the house, the mistress should take two breads, stands at a crossroad and gives every passer-by a piece, saying: Here, take some for Saint Catherine, so she stays by our home and protects us from Measles and Rabbies.

Each passer-by must take a piece and, after making the sign of the cross on their chest three times, they should say: Thank you, woman, for the sweet bread. As my fingers are sticky let health stick to your children! - Amen! God bless us!, the woman replies and watches that the pieces of bread are finished with an odd number of passers-by, so the diseases be banished from the house. And people believed that in a house where such pieces of bread are given out,no measles or rabbies will enter.

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